Nonprofits could get first dibs on multi-unit buildings

By Joshua Sabatini : sfexaminer – excerpt

Affordable housing nonprofits could get first crack at buying multi-unit buildings under legislation introduced Tuesday to protect tenants from real estate speculators.

Introduced by Supervisor Sandra Fewer, the legislation would require property owners to notify the Mayor’s Office of Housing if they plan to sell properties with three or more residential rental units for nonprofits to possible purchase by affordable housing nonprofits…

The proposal, which Fewer calls the Community Opportunity to Purchase Act, was crafted with the support of affordable housing nonprofits and inspired by Washington DC’s District Opportunity to Purchase Act… (more)

SF supervisors thumb noses at SB 827

By Michael Toren : missionlocal – excerpt (includes video)

Board of Supervisors candidate Sonja Trauss escorted off by sheriff’s deputy after wading into crowd of opposing protesters

Sonja exposed

Trauss exposed. Officers separated the two sides though they did not stop the vocal YIMBY chants from disrupting the speakers. Trauss exposed photo by zrants.

Following dueling press conferences, protests and counter-protests, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday went on record about SB 827, Sen. Scott Weiner’s bill in the California legislature that would reduce restrictions on height and density for residential developments near transit lines.

Kim-Arron.jpg

Jane Kim and Aaron Peskin spoke in opposition to SB 827 photo by zrants

They don’t like it… (more)

Scott Weiner’s SB 827 loses. Residents, homeowners, and city officials win this Will Scott Wiener and the rest of our representatives in Sacramento get the message Aaron Peskin tried to send that the help we need from the state is: Repeal Costa-Hawkins, Amend the Ellis Act and send buckets of money to help solve the homeless problem. We do not a state takeover of local jurisdiction and constant CEQA amendments. There are hundreds of entitled projects in the pipeline that are stalled for physical reasons that have nothing to do with permitting.

As anyone attempting to do any repairs, remodeling, or building knows, there is a severe labor shortage in the construction industry, and importing foreign labor is not easy. There is a shortage of materials and costs are going through the roof due to federal manipulations and an impending trade war. Higher interest rates are drying financing options. The legislation may want to consider how to solve these problems instead of harassing local communities.

RELATED:

Wiener endorses Breed as battle over SB 827 heats up

Move puts state senator on the same side as group that has attacked his longtime friend and mentor, Mark Leno… (more)

SB 827: Land grab in South L.A. communities of color

Not since the “Urban Renewal” projects of the 60s has something so radical and detrimental been proposed…

You will be hard-pressed to find a bill in the state legislature proposed by a Democrat that is a bigger threat to the stability of our community than SB 827, authored by state Sen. Scott Weiner, R-San Francisco…(more)

Note these Southern California residents refer to Senator Wiener as “Republican Senator Scott Weiner”.

San Francisco mayoral debate: Candidates promise housing, axe for planning department

Adam Brinklow : curbed – excerpt (including video)\

At debate organized by YIMBY groups, Breed, Leno, and Alioto pitch housing and take aim at department heads

Mayoral candidates London Breed (current president of the Board of Supervisors, former acting mayor), Angela Alioto (former supervisor), and Mark Leno (former supervisor, state assemblyman, and state senator) convened with YIMBY Action and San Francisco Housing Action Coalition at the Swedish American Hall Monday night to debate housing, win over YIMBY voters, and address what moderator J.K. Dineen called the city’s “pathetic track record of building housing.”

All three candidates promised more housing to one degree or another and all made a point of criticizing San Francisco’s long and difficult entitlements process and, if elected, promised less red tape. (They also took time out to joust at each other over how each finances his or her campaign, drawing occasional boos from the packed house.)… (more)

Mayoral Debate. 3.5.18

SF is losing affordable housing almost as fast as we can build it

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Planning Dept. report shows that evictions are erasing about 70 percent of the city’s affordable housing gains

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It doesn’t help much to build a lot of new affordable housing if we lose almost as much to evictions. Photo by Zrants

The Planning Department has released its latest report on how the city’s affordable housing balance is coming along, and it’s not pretty.

The report, which will be discussed at the Planning Commission Thursday/1, is required under city law. It’s supposed to show the progress San Francisco is making toward its official housing goals… (more)

 

It’s a perfect storm’: homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley

by Lauren Hepler : theguardian – excerpt

The heartland best known for supplying nearly 25% of America’s food is experiencing a rise in homelessness that can be traced in part to the tech boom

t first glance, the rusted metal pens in the central California town of Patterson look like an open-air prison block. But for Devani Riggs, “the cages”, abandoned since the days they were used to store the bounty of the self-proclaimed apricot capital of the world, play a very different role.

“This one was mine. That one was Patty and Pete,” said Riggs, a 3o-year-old homeless woman, adding that dozens of people had slept in the cramped enclosures.

California’s Central Valley is best known for supplying nearly 25% of the country’s food, including 40% of the fruit and nuts consumed each year. Yet today, backcountry places such as Patterson, population 22,000, are experiencing an increase in homelessness that can be traced, in part, to an unlikely sounding source: Silicon Valley… (more)

Looks like we have to repeal Costa Hawkins for the sake of everyone in the state. The real estate bubble is destroying the lives of people all over, not just in Silicon Valley and the big cities. This is a marketing scheme and it needs to be exposed for what it is. Re-instating rent control should remove the tensions caused by real estate speculation that is tearing us apart.

Supes vote to protect arts space after some disingenuous whining

Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Wiener, Farrell complain that progressives are using the ballot to push their agenda — which is exactly what Wiener and Farrell are doing

The Board of Supes put a measure to protect artist workspace and blue-collar jobs on the ballot yesterday after a long discussion about why this has to get voter approval.

That debate was punctuated by some stunningly disingenuous remarks by Sups. Scott Wiener and Mark Farrell, who said this issue should have been dealt with by the board – but who have put two measures of their own on the ballot that could have been addressed the same way.

There’s no secret what’s going on here. Farrell and Wiener want to have anti-homeless measures on the ballot to create a wedge issue to attack progressive candidates. There’s no way the 6-5 majority on the board would have approved these harsh and pointless laws, so they used their power under the City Charter to put them on the ballot with just four signatures.

Kim’s measure had at least six votes – but not eight, and if she had gone the legislative route, everyone knows the mayor would have vetoed it. Mayor Ed Lee supports the tech industry and the developers who are rapidly taking low-cost production, distribution, and repair space and arts space and turning it into luxury condos and tech offices.

So both sides have gone directly to the voters.

John Elberling, director of TODCO, pointed out the problem: “There has been catastrophic displacement of arts space and PDR, and for five years, the city has done nothing about it,” he testified.

Eric Arguello, who works with Calle 24, noted that Cell Space is gone, Galleria de la Raza is having trouble getting a new lease, Dance Mission is having trouble getting a new lease – and all over the Mission, cultural heritage is under attack.

“We are bleeding blue-collar jobs,” he said, noting that some studies show more than 20 percent unemployment in the Latino community (while the mayor brags about the city’s overall unemployment rate, which shows that white people with engineering degrees who moved here recently are doing fine).

Flora Davis, an artist who recently lost her studio on Soma after 23 years, noted that of the 43 artists she used to share space with, only 16 remain in the city. The building she moved into in the Mission used to have 60 artists; there are 20 left.

Kim noted that a recent study found that 70 percent of the artists in San Francisco are either being evicted or facing eviction – and the other 30 percent fear it… (more)

Negotiations Fail for Controversial Mission District Housing Project

By missionlocal – excerpt

After two weeks of last-minute negotiations between the developer of the largest housing project planned for the Mission District and its opponents, the scene is set for a contentious hearing at City Hall on Thursday as officials weigh the merits of a development that is going forward as-is.

“Everything fell through,” said Spike Kahn, the founder of the arts space the Pacific Felt Factory and a principal opponent of the project. “We presented reasonable compromises, went below what we originally asked, and still got nowhere.”

Earlier this year, the developer of 2000-2070 Bryant St., Nick Podell, decided to split his site in two and dedicated 34 percent of it to affordable housing. That move — though it bumped up the affordable housing on-site to 41 percent, an unprecedented number — put the city on hook to finance and construct those affordable units and local activists fear that means the units will be built later.

Activists like Kahn wanted Podell to increase the amount of affordable housing to 50 percent of the project site, to secure financing for it, to promise to retain light industrial space formerly on the project site, and to use union labor in construction.

They did not estimate how many more affordable units could be built on half the land as opposed to the third Podell dedicated.

Instead, Podell offered two more “flex units” that could be used as live-work space for artists, but that was too little, activists said. The project — a nearly block-long site on Bryant Street between 18th and 19th streets — will go before the Planning Commission on Thursday for final approval with the design envisioned by Podell.

“He hasn’t made any concessions at all from the first time we talked to him,” said Kahn of the years-long delays faced by Podell. “He’s said, ‘It’s mine, I’ll do with it as I wish.’”…

Dennis Richards, the vice-president of the Planning Commission, said opponents of the project need to make their case that the Bryant Street development “is not necessary or desirable and not compatible” for commissioners to delay or vote down the project.

“Loss of PDR space, the amount of affordable housing proposed and when it gets built, and labor’s opposition are the main areas of contention that I see remain unresolved,” he said.

Even if the project is approved, Papadopoulos said activists would continue to push for more affordable housing, light industrial space, and union labor, vowing to appeal the decision to the Board of Supervisors.

“If it goes forward tomorrow, we intend to try to appeal the decision,” he said. “This is only beginning.”… (more)

RELATED:
After Years of Delay, Bryant Street Housing Project Moves Forward

It was a bittersweet moment of some successes, some disappointments, and some very disturbing behavior on the part of the Sheriffs who were only allowing Carpenters Union members into the room for the last two hearings. This was a first and complaints are being filed so hopefully this practice will not repeat itself. This is what the room looked like:

Carpenters